"Man by the Fall fell at the same time from his state of innocence and from his dominion over nature. Both of these losses, however, can even in this life be in some part repaired; the former by religion and faith, and the latter by the arts and sciences."
Francis Bacon - Art in the Bible by Francis Schaeffer
"There is an inescapability artistic aspect to our daily experience. The question becomes, therefore, whether as Christians we will aspire to high aesthetic standards. All too often we settle for something that is functional, but not beautiful. We gravitate toward what is familiar, popular, or commercial, with little regard for the enduring values of artistic excellence. Sometimes what we produce can be described only as kitsch - tacky artwork of poor quality that appeals to low tastes. The average Christian bookstore is full of the stuff, as teh real artists will tell us, if only we will listen."
Art for God's Sake - Phillip Ryken
I've been reading these two books to get some biblical perspective on art. I will have to say, I've never seen God's perspective on beauty before, but it is all over Genesis. He creates a wonderful masterpeice ... better said, masterpiece after masterpiece and calls it good. Yeah... I would have to agree with Schaeffer when he says take a "look at the alps snow-covered mountains. There can be no question. God is interested in beauty. God made people to be beautiful. And beauty has a place in the worship of God."
In thinking about it some more this morning, God's "high aestetic standards" apply to our homes, oursleves, our art etc..... obviously I don't want to go to the point of obsession of how our bodies look and that are houses be decked out with decorative and extravagant jewels to make it beautiful ..... BUT.... it is okay to want to beautify yourself, your home, a creative project your working on, a scrapbook page, a photograph, a song you are writting, or a dramatical script you are preparing or whatever else it may be.
Anways... I have just finished Art for God's sake by Ryken and I have to be honest, I think he takes art to a point that he shouldn't, requiring of art things that the Scriptures do not require and perhapse expecting a little much of it. I think it's a little much to ask of an artist, a song writer, a poet, or any other artist that he needs to portray all of Salvation's Wonderful an amazing story in every peice of work that he creates.
He does say some good things, it wasn't my favorite. I've just started Schaeffer's book and I'm already enjoying it more than Ryken's.
Here are some questions for you:
Must an artist have a "calling" to be an artist?
How do you define "Christian Art"?
What would be biblical standards for art in order to define it as "good"?
Can we make God's standards for the Tabernacle the same standards for our artists today?
Can we compare the tabernacle to today's art?
What passages in Scripture have you found that speak of art,creativity etc... that could enlighten us here a bit?
Must art be true to nature, true to what God has made?
Do the standards of artistic goodness come from creation it's self?
Is art only true"if it points in soe way to the one true story of Salvation- the story of God's creation, hum sin, and the triumph of grace through Christ?"
Is art always an interpretation of reality?
Is it a right excpectation of art "to interpret reality in it's total aspect, including hope that has come into the world through the life, death, and resurrection, of Jesus Christ?"
with a sanctified imagination,